Welcome to the Connemara Way.
- Lough Corrib, Lough Inagh, Killary Fjord. Glistening rock & water everywhere, Sea, lake, river, bog.
- Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park and the Twelve Bens
- The famine road by Killary harbour
Day 1 – Arrival to Oughterard
Arrival in Galway. Local bus transfer to Oughterard on the Owenariff River, the gateway to the hills. It was the country of the O’Flaherty clan, feared throughout the land and eventually reduced to obedience in the reign of Elizabeth 1. The ruins of their castle at Aughanure are just outside the village. Lough Corrib is the second largest lake in Ireland after Lough Neagh, near Belfast. The dawn chorus is particularly spectacular for Springtime early risers!
Overnight Oughterard townland by Lough Corrib. Your host will arrange an evening meal reservation for you in Oughterard village and will transfer you after your evening meal to our guesthouse in Dereenmeel, on the Western Way 5km from Oughterard.
Day 2 – Oughterard to Maam
Walk Oughterard to Maam 18km, Ascents 100m, approx. walking time 5 hours.
From the shore of Lough Corrib, follow the Way through pine forest, climbing gently through the valleys of the Owenroe and Folore Rivers. The ground is generally wet and is a tough start but gets you into the heart of the Connemara countryside at Maam. A taxi transfer will return you to Oughterard.
Day 3 – Walk Maam to Lough Inagh Valley
Walk Maam to Recess 14km Ascents 260m, approx. walking time 4 hours
The farming countryside of Maam climbs steadily through rugged hill country along the old mountain road, to the low pass of Mam Ean and a lovely hillside chapel of St. Patrick. The high Maamturks on your right oppose the Twelve Bens on your left over the haunting Lough Inagh Valley. Accommodation tonight is in Recess, close to lough Inagh, a deep brooding lough under the Twelve Bens.
Day 4 –
Lough Inagh to Leenane 20km. Ascents 235m. Approximate walking time 5 hours
A mild day today; firstly pine forest and bogland of Luggagtarriff and Lettershanbally. The Way climbs briefly to Glencraff before skirting the northern flanks of the Maumturks to view Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord.
Overnight accommodation in Leenane village, An Lionán, “the tide filling place”- a lovely hamlet nestling under the impressive Mweelrea Mountains of Co. Mayo.
Day 5 –Free Day in Connemara
Free day in Leenane. You may wish to visit Connemara National Park and Visitor Centre is also within striking distance by private taxi transfer, as are Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Gardens. We are happy to advise on available options.
Overnight accommodation in Leenane.
Day 6 – Killary Harbour Famine Road
A taxi transfer takes you to the starting point at Rosroe to walk along the shore of Killary Harbour. The track was constructed after the Great Famine (1848) to provide some employment for the then extensive population of Connemara.
The route offers stunning views of Killary harbour, a glacial fjord, cascading waterfalls which descend under the track, the craggy backdrop of Maol Reidh (Mweelrea) and its gullies steeply descending into the fjord. Aquaculture is an important income for the local community now. There is a salmon farm at Rosroe and the fjord is studded with mussel rafts. You may even lucky enough to view dolphins or seals!
Distance 14km. Ascents 120m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Leenane village.
Day 7 – Leenane to Drummin
Walk Leenane to Drummin 17km Ascents 80m, approx. walking time 4 hours
via Lough Lugacolliwee 23km Ascents 430m approx. walking time 7 hours
Entering Co. Mayo today, the Way rises through forest over Tawnyard Lough descending to Sheefry Bridge over the Owenmore River in the Sheefry Hills. The longer route climbs a deep stream ravine crossing at 480m to see the first glimpse of the quartzite cone of Croagh Patrick. The glaciated coum Lough Lugacolliwee is a peaceful place in the midst of such mountain splendour. A taxi transfer will take you from Drummin to Westport.
Day 8 – Drummin to Westport
Taxi transfer to Drummin. A minor road takes you to the south of Croagh Patrick, sheep grazing country, rising to open moorland, before crossing a pass at 250m to see island studded Clew Bay. The Way descends through the remains of a Famine village, then wanders through drumlins, glacial mounds deposited in the flatland surrounding Westport town. The town was the creation of James Wyatt and although classically planned, remains picturesque. Explore at will!
Overnight accommodation in Westport town.
Day 9 – Pilgrims Trail
Optional free day in Westport town. Or walk the Pilgrim’s Trail from Ballintober to Westport town. A glorious countryside walk, through the farmlands of south county Mayo, and the valleys of the Camoge & Aille rivers. The Pilgrim trail follows the ancient prayer route from Ballintober Abbey to Croagh Patrick, St. Patrick’s Holy Mountain.
Distance 17km. Ascents 180m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Day 10 – Departure from Westport
Depart Westport by train for Dublin or by bus to Galway and Shannon.
Prices & Booking
€315 single supplement.
* Nine nights Bed & Breakfast guesthouse accommodation;
* Luggage transfers each day;
* Detailed route descriptions;
* East West Mapping Western Way Guide Book, 1:40000 map.
What’s not included:
* Other meals.
* Entries or excursions.
* Public transfers to Galway, Galway-Oughterard and from Westport.
September 2019 – Nike & Alan, Amherst NY, USA
We had an absolutely grand time and we are already planning our next Ireland adventure.
October 2019 – Thea & Bert, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We had a wonderful week in one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland. We enjoyed the nice B&B’s, the very friendly people and the great walks. Even the rain was nice. Now we have only two of your tours we have not done!
Location & Grade